Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Investing in a Bubble Mania Stock Market Trending Towards Financial Crisis 2.0 CRASH! - 9th Sep 21
2.Tech Stocks Bubble Valuations 2000 vs 2021 - 25th Sep 21
3.Stock Market FOMO Going into Crash Season - 8th Oct 21
4.Stock Market FOMO Hits September Brick Wall - Evergrande China's Lehman's Moment - 22nd Sep 21
5.Crypto Bubble BURSTS! BTC, ETH, XRP CRASH! NiceHash Seizes Funds on Account Halting ALL Withdrawals! - 19th May 21
6.How to Protect Your Self From a Stock Market CRASH / Bear Market? - 14th Oct 21
7.AI Stocks Portfolio Buying and Selling Levels Going Into Market Correction - 11th Oct 21
8.Why Silver Price Could Crash by 20%! - 5th Oct 21
9.Powell: Inflation Might Not Be Transitory, After All - 3rd Oct 21
10.Global Stock Markets Topped 60 Days Before the US Stocks Peaked - 23rd Sep 21
Last 7 days
Stock Market Trend Forecast Early 2022 - Tech Growth Value Stocks Rotation - 18th Jan 22
Stock Market Sentiment Speaks: Are We Setting Up For A 'Mini-Crash'? - 18th Jan 22
Mobile Sports Betting is on a rise: Here’s why - 18th Jan 22
Exponential AI Stocks Mega-trend - 17th Jan 22
THE NEXT BITCOIN - 17th Jan 22
Gold Price Predictions for 2022 - 17th Jan 22
How Do Debt Relief Services Work To Reduce The Amount You Owe? - 17th Jan 22
RIVIAN IPO Illustrates We are in the Mother of all Stock Market Bubbles - 16th Jan 22
All Market Eyes on Copper - 16th Jan 22
The US Dollar Had a Slip-Up, but Gold Turned a Blind Eye to It - 16th Jan 22
A Stock Market Top for the Ages - 16th Jan 22
FREETRADE - Stock Investing Platform, the Good, Bad and Ugly Review, Free Shares, Cancelled Orders - 15th Jan 22
WD 14tb My Book External Drive Unboxing, Testing and Benchmark Performance Amazon Buy Review - 15th Jan 22
Toyland Ferris Wheel Birthday Fun at Gulliver's Rother Valley UK Theme Park 2022 - 15th Jan 22
What You Should Know About a TailoredPay High Risk Merchant Account - 15th Jan 22
Best Metaverse Tech Stocks Investing for 2022 and Beyond - 14th Jan 22
Gold Price Lagging Inflation - 14th Jan 22
Get Your Startup Idea Up And Running With These 7 Tips - 14th Jan 22
What Happens When Your Flight Gets Cancelled in the UK? - 14th Jan 22
How to Profit from 2022’s Biggest Trend Reversal - 11th Jan 22
Stock Market Sentiment Speaks: Are We Ready To Drop To 4400SPX? - 11th Jan 22
What's the Role of an Affiliate Marketer? - 11th Jan 22
Essential Things To Know Before You Set Up A Limited Liability Company - 11th Jan 22
NVIDIA THE KING OF THE METAVERSE! - 10th Jan 22
Fiscal and Monetary Cliffs Have Arrived - 10th Jan 22
The Meteoric Rise of Investing in Trading Cards - 10th Jan 22
IBM The REAL Quantum Metaverse STOCK! - 9th Jan 22
WARNING Failing NVME2 M2 SSD Drives Can Prevent Systems From Booting - Corsair MP600 - 9th Jan 22
The Fed’s inflated cake and a ‘quant’ of history - 9th Jan 22
NVME M2 SSD FAILURE WARNING Signs - Corsair MP600 1tb Drive - 9th Jan 22
Meadowhall Sheffield Christmas Lights 2021 Shopping - Before the Switch on - 9th Jan 22
How Does Insurance Work In Europe? Find Out Here - 9th Jan 22
MATTERPORT (MTTR) - DIGITIZING THE REAL WORLD - METAVERSE INVESTING 2022 - 7th Jan 22
Effect of Deflation On The Gold Price - 7th Jan 22
Stock Market 2022 Requires Different Strategies For Traders/Investors - 7th Jan 22
Old Man Winter Will Stimulate Natural Gas and Heating Oil Demand - 7th Jan 22
Is The Lazy Stock Market Bull Strategy Worth Considering? - 7th Jan 22
METAVERSE - NEW LIFE FOR SONY AGEING GAMING GIANT? - 6th Jan 2022
What Elliott Waves Show for Asia Pacific Stock and Financial Markets 2022 - 6th Jan 2022
Why You Should Register Your Company - 6th Jan 2022
4 Ways to Invest in Silver for 2022 - 6th Jan 2022
UNITY (U) - Metaverse Stock Analysis Investing for 2022 and Beyond - 5th Jan 2022
Stock Market Staving Off Risk-Off - 5th Jan 2022
Gold and Silver Still Hungover After New Year’s Eve - 5th Jan 2022
S&P 500 In an Uncharted Territory, But Is Sky the Limit? - 5th Jan 2022

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Protect your Wealth by Investing in AI Tech Stocks

What The Economist Doesn't Know About Gold

Commodities / Gold and Silver 2010 Jun 23, 2010 - 03:21 PM GMT

By: Adrian_Ash

Commodities

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleTwo things happen to cash savers (meaning pretty much everyone) when real interest rates get stuck below zero...

HOW HAS GOLD reached and breached new all-time highs in the absence of strong 1970s-style inflation?


The Buttonwood column in last weekend's Economist is only the latest analysis to miss the point, and despite tripping right over it, too.

"Owning gold is traditionally seen as offering protection against inflation. And inflation is very bad news for owners of government bonds.

"But the ten-year Treasury bond yields just 3.3%, a level that is towards the low end of the historical range...You would expect the performance of gold and Treasury bonds to be inversely correlated. When gold was at its real all-time high in 1980, the ten-year Treasury-bond yield was 10.8%. Fixed-income investors had suffered years of negative real returns in the 1970s."

But there's the rub, as we never tire of telling people here at BullionVault. They tire so quickly of hearing it, however, that even The Economist can't square the circle of rising gold, falling bond yields. Because it never was inflation alone in the '70s that drove people to buy or sell a lump of rare, indestructible metal. It was rather the rate of return offered by cash and bonds – those better competitors as a store of wealth, all things being equal – over and above (or below) inflation.

That's why gold made a terrible inflation hedge in the 1980s and '90s, most especially for Dollar investors. Because no-one needed an inflation hedge! Not when 10-year Treasuries paid 4.3% on average over and above CPI inflation. Not when the real Fed Funds rate averaged 3%-plus...leaving gold to drop three-quarters of its real Dollar value inside 20 years...as the real value of cash-on-deposit doubled.

Now compare and contrast with the last eight-and-a-half years. CPI inflation has averaged barely half its previous two-decade average, yet the real returns paid to bonds and cash have collapsed. Adjusted for inflation, in fact, the real Fed Funds rate has now been below zero for 54 of the last 101 months. That matches the 54 months of sub-zero real rates which the Fed delivered in the 1970s...

...but things are worse yet, of course. First because that decade's 54 months of negative real rates were spread across 10 full years from Jan. 1970. So second, the overall effect on the average real rate since 2002 has been to drive it lower again.

Real Fed Funds

Overall ave. real rate

Neg. months

Neg. ave.

1970-1980 0.01 54 -1.49
2002 to date -0.12 54 -1.37

Short of a revolution in Fed thinking (no sign of that today), the decade starting Jan. 2002 looks set to deliver yet more negative real rates before 2012, if not beyond. Which will continue to mean that:
 

  • Holding cash-on-deposit guarantees a loss of real value, something that even the most passive, cautious savers will only put up with for so long;
  • The opportunity cost of holding gold or silver – the foregone interest you'd otherwise receive on cash – remains absent.

The monetary metals may not have been official money for many decades today. But the Fed's interest-rate policy is actively leading the remonetization of gold and silver as popular stores of value.

Because when "risk free" cash keeps paying a guaranteed loss, then a growing number of people will, in due course, start seeking shelter elsewhere. At the same time, holding gold and/or silver has ceased being a burden (bullion storage rates need not be onerous), inviting fresh flows of retained capital, tired of earning nothing or less.

Real returns to cash have now been low-to-negative for almost a decade, and so it might not be too long before a far broader, and thus larger, volume of savings turns from cash to the obvious and historic alternatives. Either that or the Fed will hike rates so high, you get 4% and more above inflation.

By Adrian Ash
BullionVault.com

Gold price chart, no delay | Free Report: 5 Myths of the Gold Market
Formerly City correspondent for The Daily Reckoning in London and a regular contributor to MoneyWeek magazine, Adrian Ash is the editor of Gold News and head of research at www.BullionVault.com , giving you direct access to investment gold, vaulted in Zurich , on $3 spreads and 0.8% dealing fees.

(c) BullionVault 2010

Please Note: This article is to inform your thinking, not lead it. Only you can decide the best place for your money, and any decision you make will put your money at risk. Information or data included here may have already been overtaken by events – and must be verified elsewhere – should you choose to act on it.


© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in